Avian Management, Biology and Conservation

Hosted by Oglebay Resort
Wheeling, WV
February 13-18, 2023

Avian Management, Biology and Conservation has been developed to meet the needs of current and future avian managers. A major goal of the class is to teach critical thinking techniques that lead to informed decisions regarding all aspects of managing avian collections. Students will be given a variety of tools, methods and best practices to provide a foundation for understanding and meeting current challenges in avian management.

Course Objectives

After completion of the Avian Management, Biology and Conservation Course, students will:

  • Train potential avian managers how to create a successful program that addresses both the care standards for avian species and the development of conservation programs

  • Provide processes and techniques to manage bird collections on a broader scale than one species or taxa

  • Provide a common base of knowledge to the next generation of managers in an efficient way

  • Provide a mechanism to educate managers on avian welfare

  • Provide a wealth of knowledge and resources to small institutions who may not have the expertise required to effectively manage a diverse collection

Course Schedule

First Day
 - Student registration
 - Opening evening ceremony
 - Courses meet for individual opening session/class

- Classes meet all-day

Last Day
- Classes meet
- Closing Ceremony

Attendance is required for course participants for the duration of the course until the evening of the last day. As a result, individuals generally depart the following day. Attendees will receive a detailed schedule for their course after their registration is confirmed.  


Hannah Bailey, Conservation Program Manager - Hawai‘i Endangered Bird Conservation Program, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance
Joe Barkowski
, VP of Animal Conservation & Science - Tulsa Zoo
Sunny Nelson
, VP of Conservation and Science - Lincoln Park Zoo 
Scott Newland
, President & CEO - Sedgwick County Zoo
Kathy Russell
, General Curator - Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo
Anne Tieber
, Curator of Birds - St. Louis Zoo

Is This Course Right For You?

This course is targeted toward today’s and tomorrow’s avian managers. This may include zookeepers or other staff looking toward a future in managing collections as well as current managers at zoos, aquariums, nature centers, aviaries, wildlife agencies and related organizations who are interested in exploring new skills, techniques and methods to more successfully manage their roles. Facilities with a single broad taxonomic animal manager will also benefit from the techniques and processes provided in the course. Regardless of your current role or desire to manage collections, all participants will increase their knowledge and set goals for the future.

Topics (with an avian management focus) covered will include:

  • Collection Planning
  • Avian Care (Health & Nutrition)
  • Acquisition/Disposition
  • Welfare
  • Reproductive Management
  • Behavioral Management
  • Facilities
  • Conservation
  • Staffing/Leadership

None. Priority will be given to AZA members. Those not affiliated with an AZA-accredited institution will be considered on a case-by-case basis;  please submit a letter describing your intended benefit from taking this course to azatraining@aza.org for consideration.

Travel & Accommodations

Air Travel
Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) is the closest airport. Airport Limousine Plus and First Class Limo provide a shuttle service between PIT and the hotel.

Lodging information coming soon.

Course participants stay at Oglebay Resort & Conference Center in Wheeling, West Virginia and classes meet on-site. All lodging reservations are priced per person at a package rate. Your accommodations will include breakfast, lunches, dinners, and snacks throughout the entirety of your stay. 

Please wait until you are admitted into the course before making your reservations. You will receive an email containing detailed information regarding your accommodations and transportation once you are admitted.

For information regarding our code of conduct, registration, and refund policies, please visit our Professional Development Course Policies page.

Questions? For additional details please contact the AZA Professional Development Department.

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